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Mitsubishi's Wakamaru bot isn't ready to integrate into society

Paul Miller, @futurepaul
July 29, 2007
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Things didn't turn out so well for Mitsubishi's cute little Wakamaru house bot, which the company introduced in 2005. Initially expecting to sell 100 of the $14k+ bots, Mitsubishi received only a few dozen orders, and shipped even fewer, since certain customers with multi-story homes or no internet access wouldn't have gotten much mileage out of the yellow robot. Other problems further limited Wakamaru's acceptance in the home, like limited conversational abilities and lack of support for internet content beyond weather forecasts and email. People also expected Wakamaru to take over household duties like sweeping and cooking, and while the bot's heart is in the right place, he's not exactly handy with a broom. For now Mitsubishi is going to rent Wakamaru out to corporations, and is working on expanding arm functionality to allow for the carrying of drinks or newspapers, and to let him open doors. Teach him how to perform petty crime and spew cutesy catch phrases and we're sold. [Warning: subscription required]

In this article: mitsubishi, robot, wakamaru
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